12 things to do with root vegetables

Cook up healthy beets, carrots, parsnips and turnips with these tasty ideas

12 things to do with root vegetables

Source: Best Health Magazine, January/February 2010

Winter salad: Toss cooked and cooled red or golden beet wedges with baby spinach leaves. Top with clementine slices and chopped nuts, and drizzle with a dressing of olive oil, white wine vinegar and Dijon mustard.

Three-root soup: Peel and chop three carrots, two parsnips, a small turnip and an apple. Put into a large pot, add water or broth to cover, and boil until tender, about ’15 minutes. Cool slightly, then purée with sautéed onion, garlic and a little thyme. Reheat and serve garnished with grated apple.

‘ Not just for cake: For sweetness and fibre, add grated carrots to meat- or tofu loaf, meatballs and casseroles.

‘ Tired of the same old sandwiches? Mix grated carrots with low-fat cream cheese, chopped green olives and grated onions. Spread on whole-grain bread or pita.

Fresh take on fries: Peel parsnips, slice into thick strips and coat with a little olive oil. Roast in a 350°F oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Serve with baked salmon or roast beef.

‘ Crave a creamy soup? Purée cooked carrots with sautéed onions and garlic, low-sodium broth, low-fat yogurt and chopped fresh cilantro. Heat gently and serve.

‘ Yummy potato-parsnip pancakes: Coarsely grate three parsnips and two medium potatoes. Mix with two eggs and 1/4 cup (60 mL) flour. Use the 1/4 cup measure to spoon mixture onto a medium-hot skillet coated with a little vegetable oil. Flatten and cook until golden, about two to three minutes per side.

Colourful starter: Place six chunks of roasted beet on a plate with sliced smoked salmon, a small dollop of horse-radish and a lemon wedge.

Elegant soup: Purée cooked parsnips with sautéed onions, garlic and pear, as well as vegetable stock and curry powder to taste. Serve hot.

Unusual dipper: Cut turnip into three-inch (8-cm) spears, place in a vegetable steamer and cook until tender-crisp, about five to seven minutes. Add to a veggie-and-dip tray.

‘ Beet this: Grate or thinly ‘slice uncooked beets and add to salads, cakes or loaves’they add sweetness but are healthier than white sugar. ‘Or put beets through a juicer with fresh ginger and a carrot or apple.

‘ Need a quick side dish? Parboil baby carrots for three minutes. Then sauté briefly in a little olive oil with diced onion, thyme, rosemary and black pepper. Squeeze the juice of half an orange on top.

This article was originally titled "Savour hardy roots," in the January/February 2010 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience’and never miss an issue!’and make sure to check out what’s new in the latest issue of Best Health.